© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
Being an advocate involves speaking for and supporting a cause, idea, or policy. In the cancer community, being a cancer advocate means that you support a cause, idea, or policy regarding cancer, which may include working to change laws and policies that affect people living with cancer. On a more personal level, for someone with cancer, being a self-advocate involves taking an active role in your cancer care.
Self-advocacy can be a positive experience and often gives a person a sense of control in a time of uncertainty. Advocacy doesn't have to be time-consuming or difficultâit can be as simple as asking more questions at a doctor's appointment. Furthermore, being a self-advocate doesn't mean that you are responsible for your cancer care alone. Many people involve friends and family members to help find and sort all of the information necessary to make decisions regarding care and treatment.